Heroic thrashers Gama Bomb recently announced the release of their fifth album Untouchable Glory and the artwork is pretty much ripped straight out of a cheesy action movie, which makes sense when you consider the band’s own fandom for some of the best-worst movies ever created. Here, vocalist Philly and bassist Joe go through their ten favourite movies to ever feature muscles, bullets, one-liners and lots of fighting.
Philly Byrne: “At a glance this is nothing more than steroid-fuelled, brainless ‘80s action mayhem, but when you look closer you realise this is the steroid-fuelled, brainless ‘80s action mayhem movie. Commando was co-written by Jeph Loeb who went on to be a huge force in comics, and it carries that crazy superhero DNA with it. Also, Arnie’s little underpants are hilarious.”
Strike Commando (1987)
Joe McGuigan: “This bangin’ ‘spaghetti Rambo’ caper has it all: flimsy huts being blown up, even flimsier acting and more cheese than a direct hit on the Dairylea factory. Reb Brown goes for broke as our have-a-go-rent-a-Rambo, shouting extremely loudly at the drop of a hat, or doing his best to describe Disneyland to a dying orphan. That actually happens in this film.”
Philly Byrne: ”Okay, few facts here: first, this stars Gary Busey. Second, his name is McBain in it (and I bet the writers never even got a cheque from Fox for that), and third, the plot revolves around the theft of a futuristic tank called The Thunderblast. Go, enjoy, and be reborn.”
2019: After The Fall Of New York (1983) and Robowar (1988)
Joe McGuigan: ”So, this it how it went: A successful film comes out in America (in this case Escape From New York and Predator), then wily European producers produce a rip-off or sequel before the original hits the lesser markets. There’s not much point describing what happens in these films, if you’ve seen the originals then you know the plot better than the guys who made these films. What you get is a 100% amped-up, warped, Euro take on your fave movies.”
Road House (1989)
Philly Byrne: “Every time the moon is full, I pour a drop of my booze on the dirt for Patrick Swayze – RIP, bro. I miss him so much on account of this romping, bare-knuckle classic. The Swayz plays a bouncer at a roadside bar who goes up against a bad business man. It’s also got Sam Elliott and introduced a hyper-kinetic new way of shooting fight scenes that’s often mimicked even today. Good, bruisin’ fun.”
Joe McGuigan: ”Stallone is firing on all cylinders here as Marion Cobretti, a hard-as-nails LA cop with a girly name. He eats frozen – yes, frozen – pizza, chews matches and spits fire from his sweet 45 magnum, dealing death to poorly-thought-out ‘axe cult’ baddies. If you haven’t seen this film, you’ve forfeited your right to a life of coolness.”
Bullet In The Head (1990)
Joe McGuigan: ”John Woo cut his teeth on this caper involving street fighters, bank robberies, the Vietnam war and probably the kitchen sink. This is the ultimate eastern action flick, covering all the exploitation bases while reaching for a loftier Apocalypse Now/Godfather buzz. But, y’know, with awesome stunts. And kung fu.”
Philly Byrne: ”Fact: we’re so old, we remember the days when British TV would show a version of this with all the curses overdubbed, even late at night. Y’know, because the British public couldn’t handle hearing Bill Paxton drop F-bombs. I suppose the Troubles were on back then, and people didn’t need the aggravation. Anyway, good show – obviously you should only watch the director’s cut. Get out of my face if you don’t like this film.”
American Force 2: The Untouchable Glory (1988)
Joe McGuigan: “This is where we took inspiration for our new album title, but aside from that there’s not a lot you can say. This film was produced by legendary hack producer Joseph Lai, who would combine random scenes from different films, add ninja footage, then dub it for the European market. The plot makes no sense, the dubbing is awful and the kung fu badly staged and sort of reminiscent of the Power Rangers. Fans beware: you will need beer for the brain and matchsticks for the eyes to watch this piece of totally awesome nonsensical trash.”
Gama Bomb’s new album Untouchable Glory is out 30th October via AFM Records.